Sprint Cup drivers took to the “Action Track” at Richmond for the Crown Royal Presents the Dan Lowry 400. Denny Hamlin was looking for the sweep at Richmond this weekend while Jeff Gordon started in the back due to an engine problem. Mother Nature though could reek some havoc with this race though.
The first two hundred laps of this race was pretty uneventful for the top two spots. Denny Hamlin led every single one of them with Mark Martin in second place for mostly all of those laps.
Not many cautions came in those 200 laps. The first caution came out on lap 64 for Johnny Sauter. The second one came out on lap 128 for debris. The third one came out for Juan Pablo Montoya on lap 139. That one help put Jeff Gordon back onto the lead lap where he was finally able to get a car that could move up to the front.
At lap 204 A.J. Allmendinger spins out. All the leaders pit and Kyle Busch was able to get second place. The next caution pops up ay lap 219 for Brian Vickers and Paul Menard who get together.
A big wreck occurs on lap 230 which started by J.J. Yeley slows up. This causes the cars of Regan Smith, Kurt Busch, Patrick Carpentier, Ryan Newman, Jeff Burton, Daid Gilliland, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jimmy Johnson, Carl Edwards and Johnny Sauter to get together. It led to an almost 20 minute red flag and some ugly weather was closing in on the area.
“I got hit from behind,” said Patrick Carpentier.
“I had my front breaks all locked up,” said Kurt Busch. He stated he had nowhere to go.
By lap 250 Jeff Gordon made his way up to fifth. And in three more laps Mark Martin was back in second. At lap 261 the seventh caution comes out for A.J. Allmendinger and Michael McDowell who wreck. All the leaders pit and Denny Hamlin leads the cars off pit road again with Mark Martin in second.
At the drop of the green flag Denny quickly busted out to another 1 second plus lead while Mark Martin dropped to fourth.
With 75 laps to go It was Denny Hamlin was still leading with Kyle Busch in second and Dale Jr. in third.
With 55 laps to go Jimmy Johnson started the first mass round of green flag pit stops of the night, but with 46 laps to go Casey Mears and Michael Waltrip crash together. NASCAR then parks Michael for the rest of the race.
All the leaders pit and Denny Hamlin leads the cars off pit road again with Kyle Busch in second and Dale Jr. in third. At the drop of the green flag it did not last long and Jamie McMurray spins out and crashes his car.
After the green flag drops Dale Jr. takes over second place. With 20 laps to go Denny complains of a loose tire and then in a couple laps and Dale Jr. takes over first place. With 11 laps left Denny had fallen all the way back to eleventh place and with ten to go and his tire finally blows up. For parking the car to bring out the caution he gets a two-lap penalty.
The top six cars stay out while the rest come in for tires. The green flag drops with around five laps left and with three laps left Kyle Busch goes down low trying to make the pass on Dale Jr. and winds up send Dale Jr. into the wall. This put Clint Bowyer into the lead of the race.
The finial green flag of the night drops and Mark Martin makes a solid attempt to take over second place, but does not do it and Clint Bowyer takes the wins of the race.
Denny Hamlin on the night though broke Bill Elliott’s record of 348 laps led for one Richmond race. He led over 380 laps on the night.
“I love this place,” said Clint Bowyer. He stated that the car was fast all day.
“Bummer deal,” said Kyle Busch on the Dale Jr. incident. He says he apologizes for the incident. Kyle Finished second.
"God didn't want me to win today," said Denny Hamlin. He ended the race in 24th spot.
“I ran hard and got wrecked,” said a dejected Dale Jr who finished in 15th.
Kyle Busch now lead the points with Jeff Burton in second only 18 points back.